Guinness Court: Housing association under fire for ‘appalling and shockingly poor’ service

The Guinness Court estate in Lever Street. Picture: Trevor Hankins

The Guinness Court estate in Lever Street. Picture: Trevor Hankins - Credit: Archant

A housing association has been lambasted for its “appalling” approach to repair and maintenance work on a Clerkenwell estate.

Neighbours on the Guinness Court Estate, in Lever Street, have been pleading for stairwells to be made safer since 2012, and say “anti-social” floodlights keep them awake at night.

Cllr Troy Gallagher (Lab, Bunhill) intervened six months ago, asking Guinness to make “urgent” repairs – but the work still hasn’t been done.

He told the Gazette: “Guinness Trust’s repair service is appalling and shockingly poor.

“At a public meeting I attended this summer the defensive attitude of Guinness Trust officers towards residents who were asking basic questions on repairs and offering practical solutions was treated with contempt.

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“We’re having an absolute battle getting them to engage with residents and sort out their problems.”

He said the stairwells are “dangerous” adding: “A young mother with a newborn baby slipped on them and injured themselves.”

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Luckily neither was seriously hurt.

The Guinness Court Residents’ Association chair Trevor Hankins has also been campaigning for “essential” repair works.

He told the Gazette: “We’ve had a lot of problems with the stairwell – the nosings [metal edgings] are dangerous and children have cut themselves on them.

“It’s not good. We’ve been complaining about this since 2012.”

He explained that the stairwells are “half inside and half outside” and so get exposed to the elements, making them worn and sometimes slippy.

Trevor added: “The floodlights shine right onto our windows and the [light] pollution has been keeping families awake at night.”

A spokesperson for Guinness said: “We’re sorry that we haven’t been able to resolve these issues as quickly as we and our customers would have liked and would like to apologise for the difficulties this has caused.

“We have now received the specialist parts needed and the new lighting system is scheduled to be installed at the end of October.

“We will also be replacing the flooring once we have consulted with residents about the best approach.

“In the meantime we will continue to work closely with the Tenants and Residents Association and local councillors - we are grateful for the patience and understanding of our residents while we resolve these issues.”

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